Thursday, April 19, 2007

Why "The Bike"?

If you find yourself derailed, here are some alternate rails...

What other racing sports can you get the vehicles the top racers win in for 2-6 grand? Equipped with the proper engine (hopefully you), your bike will be a '62 convertible 'vette. It's certainly not about expensive bikes though.

Maybe, it's about the love poured into your custom frame by frame builders who took care to measure and fit you, and listen to what you wanted out of the bike. Taking each bit of information back to the shop to come up with functional artwork from their skilled hands.

Maybe, it's about what it represents. My grandfather rode it from the farm to town. My father rode for exercise, recreation and with the family. Women have ridden for independence. Many have ridden to save money. Many others to save fuel. Many to raise awareness. Many for the freedom provided by such an elegant, efficient machine. Some because they can take it completely apart, lube it, and put it back together in less than a day. (I will NOT try that with a car)

Sometimes, it's about popping in your favorite movie and after a warm up, hammering until you're woozie, drooling, and can't get enough time between gasps for the hydration you so desperately need.

You may want to think in terms of going somewhere, rather than getting somewhere. Those 50 or 100 milers, take the ride one way and meet somewhere cool for lunch (then get a ride/nap back). Very few folks will ever do this for running... As an example, there is a group ride next month that is Milwaukee to Madison for lunch and back (170 miles). You will be hard pressed to find a group run to Madison and back. (and would you go?) Cycling is all about the experiences.

This is sometimes tough for triathletes. People who are on a rigorous schedule, fitting in this exact bike or run on this exact day. Riding trainers in the wee hours to avoid work and family conflicts. Regardless of what fun may be going on. Do not hesitate to take a day to do something that makes you laugh and smile on the bike. Just don't forget to do the miles too.

Homework to readers.. Grab your bike, shoes, water bottles, helmet, and camera and ride to the steepest hill in a 15 mile radius. Ride up and down it until you are either laughing, crying, or a healthy mix of both. Get someone to take your pic and send it in (link in comments?). Maybe I can make a collage.


Triteacher said...

Ahhhh... the fog has lifted. So THAT's biking.

Absolutely beautiful, inspiring post. Thank you. :)

MartyTheFool said...

Cool thought. I am just starting to get into the bike this year. Lots of local group support too.

I like your history lesson.

I can't guarantee I'll get you a pic, but I DO have a killer hill that will probably take me 2 tries before I start drooling.

jwm said...

I really shouldn't tip anyone off here, but I'll be shocked if I get any uphill pics.

The "real" homework, is to do something different or new on your bike.


Anonymous said...

1. the 16 y/o hi-skool sophomore girl is becoming a bit of a local legend, by going out and riding up and down the niagara escarpment repeatedly for a couple hours at a time. one of the ascents is in the middle of a popular golf course - so the school golf team and various adults watch her, killing it straight up and down a huge ass steep mofo of a hill in between the front and back 9's, as they putt around on their feeble carts. :) i'll work on a pic.

2. the wife's new waterford should be here this week. life is good.